by Loretta Routsky, Hamilton Spectator
In the future, the only bird calls to be heard may be coming from your kitchen clock – and that’s only if you remember to replace the batteries.
All over the world, wind farms are decimating our feathered friends and nothing is being done to stop the carnage.
Case in point: the projected mega wind farm outside of Smithville, put right in the path of the raptor and swan migration that streams over Beamer Point above Grimsby. These magnificent creatures will be lucky to survive their landfall.
Wolfe Island near Kingston is officially designated as an important birding area. Many migratory species “stage” here, restoring body fat after long flights. You might find red-winged blackbirds, sandpipers, ospreys, short-eared owls plus 20 per cent of the world’s bobolinks, which make an annual migration of thousands of kilometres but make their home on the island.
On Wolfe Island are 86 huge wind turbines. The kill rate is estimated at seven birds per turbine over a six-month period: 602 birds, as well as 1,270 bats. These are the bird bodies found. How many do you think were dragged away by predators?
Do the math. Say 100 turbines outside Smithville equals 700 dead birds and this figure is a guess. Ted Cheskey, manager of bird conservation programs at Nature Canada, says “The figures underline what our organization has argued all along, that there should not be wind turbines put in important bird migration areas and corridors.”
If they survive, some species will not nest near turbines. They must know something we don’t.
When (not if) the birds and bats are depleted, who will eat the pesky mosquitoes? With few raptors to feast on mice, will the mice overrun us like a biblical plague? Pollination is also becoming a problem. Bats and hummingbirds among others are pollinators. Mess with Mother Nature to your sorrow.
In the United States, at a southwest Washington wind farm, a dead 4-kilogram golden eagle was found at the base of a turbine. This eagle had a two-metre wingspan and was a mature bird. It had suffered a broken wing and two broken legs. Did it die immediately? Or did it lie in agony for some time?
U.S. law prohibits intentionally harming raptors. I guess he should have watched where he was going.
I could go on and on with reports of dead raptors and song birds but I think you get the picture.
Wind farms are not green, they are not good for the environment. If they were, they would be out in the lake. The only thing they are good for is to make money for the companies who creep into rural areas and tear the place apart.
What right does our government have to give them carte blanche? Does the ordinary citizen have no say at all? Do we stand by and watch our property values plummet, our wells destroyed by the digging of the enormous pits for the turbine bases. People are losing their life savings, their beautiful Ontario landscape, and in some cases their health.
People are signing very secretive and ironclad contracts to do with the turbines. I think they should stop, even if they truly believe they are helping the environment. Before you sign, I would say to them, search your soul and do some detective work. You will be surprised at what you discover about these so called “green energy machines”.
I find it ironic that we – who live within the roar of Niagara Falls – are erecting wind turbines to give us power. This is a strange turn of events. Take a look at your hydro bills. I think you will find that your need for power peaks in June, July, August. These months are infamous for their hot, sticky, WINDLESS days.
Do you think those windmills are going to power your air conditioning? Think again. Throw some more coal in the boiler …
How about installing solar panels on the roofs of all these new homes being built? Yes, it would bring the cost of the home up but you would save in the long run. I am not against green ideas, I am against the enormous cost of this not-so-green idea.
If we don’t care about the suffering of the people who have been affected by turbines, can we at least be moved by the suffering of those who cannot speak for themselves? Please, let’s save our wildlife. In doing so, we might just save ourselves.
Loretta Routsky lives in Caistor Centre, West Lincoln.